- Court: U.S. Supreme Court Certiorari Granted
- Area(s) of Law: Constitutional Law
- Date Filed: June 8, 2015
- Case #: 14-419
- Judge(s)/Court Below: United States v. Luis, 564 F. App’x 493 (11th Cir. 2014)
- Full Text Opinion
Petitioner was indicted on health care fraud charges in U.S. District Court. Petitioner wished to obtain counsel to represent her in the action. Respondents filed a civil action to restrain Petitioner's assets, including those unrelated to the criminal charges, under the authority of 18 U.S.C. §1345. The district court restrained Petitioner’s “untainted” assets on the grounds that the statute authorizes the restraint of “substitute assets” equal to the amount actually traceable to the criminal offense, even though the “substitute assets” are not directly related to the offense. The 11th Circuit affirmed the motion to restrain the assets.
Petitioner argues that 21 U.S.C. §853, the criminal forfeiture statute does not authorize “substitute assets” to be restrained. Petitioner further argues that freezing untainted assets violates the Fifth and Sixth Amendments.
The Court granted certiorari to resolve a circuit split on whether Defendants interest in obtaining counsel of choice outweighs the government’s interest in confiscating assets equal to that of the alleged fraud.